The Universe and Everything

Will the Real Lazy Person Please Stand Up?

Let me begin this article by explaining that I am a very lazy person. So lazy that even cats revere my presence in this world and write odes about me.

“There once was a lazy lass Shoe-y

With a high reputation to keep

She lets others face giants

Slaying dragons while she sleeps”

A cat wrote that, so pardon the bad metre. Anyhow lethargy and procrastination are personified in my character. “If you have to do something tomorrow, do it next week” is the maxim I follow with a smile upon my face and glee in my heart. My cousin sister, on the other hand, does not approve of this work methodology which I have perfected over the years. So she went behind my back, cunning fiend that she is, and looked up on methods to battle procrastination. And to my utter surprise she found something that is turning me, unwillingly, into a workaholic who does something (usually writing) 24 hours a day, seven days a week!


Okay, that is not totally untrue. You see, I belong to this clique (A year out of high school and yet this deplorable word doesn’t leave me alone) of procrastinators who seldom do nothing. We do marginally useful things like sharpening pencils or making timetables of the work we have to do in order to avoid the actual task. Now, if sharpening pencils was the last thing left on Earth for me to do, you could give me candy I wouldn’t do it. NOTHING would induce me to sharpen that beastly little HB pencil. But the minute you say, “Hey, we got an entire exercise on Integral Calculus as homework”, my eyes will glass over and I will steadily start sharpening all pencils in sight just so I can get the requisite amount (which equals infinity) of pencils to do the work (Yeah pens just annoy me). So, we do useful stuff. But it really isn’t required. And we miss out on all the important stuff we’ve to do.

“There’s a silver lining in every cloud.” Very true, at least in this case. A theory has been evolved by one John Perry (Perry the Procrastinator? Just made my day), a seasoned shirker himself, called Structured Procrastination. It basically expostulates on the use of self deception to make one do one’s work. You make all list of all the work you’re supposed to do and then rank it in order of its importance (This may range from studying history to blankly picking your nose). But the important (and so dashed difficult!) part here is that you’ve to somehow convince yourself that your nose is the most important thing in the world and picking it is mandatory, and possibly the only productive work you’ll ever do in your entire life and so rank it number one and studying history is just blehh and doesn’t really matter. So automatically, your brain (poor little thing, getting deceived by a malicious person like yourself) starts to think about the varied advantages of studying history. It’ll argue that doing history could just be the best possible option on your list. And so he spoke, and so he spoke; the Lord of Castamere (Techincally, lord of your cognitive functions, but what’s a word between friends, eh?). And so shall be done. You’ll enjoy history and positive bridle with indignation if someone so much as mentions the words ‘nose’ and picking’ in the same sentence. And that is the magic of our imagination, friends, Romans and countrymen.

I’m still trying this out and as yet I’m a non-believer. But this photo of John Perry, skipping on a rope of seaweed while work awaits, is making me love him and his idea a little more. One step at a time.


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